On Wednesday, the Detroit Pistons lost a close one against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 30 points, which was pretty cool. This ended the season for the Pistons. They went through two coaches and a GM, and they finished with a 29-53 record. This from a team that had clear playoff hopes before the year. You could, frankly, argue that Detroit was the most disappointing team in the league this season. Take that, Cleveland!
Hey, at least they were able to finish with the eighth worst record, and thus will likely keep a much needed pick. They also had a minus-3.7 point differential, which is actually the seventh worst in the league, falling behind Sacramento who had one less win. The Pistons also went 29-53 last season, so even though they added Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, plus KCP, they went nowhere. They stagnated. That's not good. That's not how rebuilds are supposed to work. That's why Joe Dumars is gone. Or rather, why he was given some meaningless title out of kindness.
Detroit was 19th in offensive efficiency and tied for 25th in defensive efficiency. They were 29th in true shooting percentage, finishing higher than only the lowly Philadelphia 76ers who completely tore their team down. That's some abysmal stuff. The team really needs to improve on both ends of the court.
Smith led the team in points with 16.4, while Jennings was second at 15.5. Of course, Smith took 16 shots a game, with a .419 field goal percentage. He also took 3.4 three-pointers a game and only made 26.4% of them, which is awful, and he only made 53% of his free throws. Jennings only had a .373 FG%. Neither of these guys can shoot. Smith can dunk, but they made him a small forward. Smith did stuff the stat sheet, so he wasn't terrible. He had a 14.1 PER, which is below average, though, so it wasn't a good year.
Only two Pistons had good seasons: Andre Drummond, king of the universe, and Greg Monroe, likely former Piston. Drummond still can't shoot free throws, but the guy averaged 13.5 ppg, 13.2 rebounds per game, 1.25 steals per game, and 1.63 blocks. He had a 22.6 PER. He finished second in the league in rebounds per game. Monroe came close to averaging a double-double himself, he had 9.3 rpg, and he finished with a 18.2 PER. By the way, KCP, despite a good final game, had a 9.5 PER, which is bad.
However, KCP's 1.8 Win Shares was more than Smith's 1.1. Drummond was up at 9.9 Win Shares, the next highest Piston being Monroe at 5.9. Of course, I'm not saying anything new here. Drummond is already really good and is going to be great. Monroe is also really good, but the team probably needs to sign-and-trade him and move Smith to power forward, because that contract is not movable.
In addition to doing that, the Pistons' new GM is going to have work to do. He needs to find an actually good head coach, maybe a promising young guy for once. Hopefully, the Pistons will be able to draft a wing player who can play shooting guard or small forward. Somebody who can score. A point guard would be alright, too, or some sort of combo guard. This team has clear holes.
It was a rough year for the Pistons. Our hopes for the postseason got dashed, and now this team is going back to square one in the front office. Maybe this time things will be different.